Author Topic: Best town to FIRE with kids in school  (Read 2237 times)

thelyon19

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Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« on: April 05, 2019, 08:32:56 PM »
While my hubs and I teach abroad, and most likely will stay overseas until our kids graduate because they attend our private int'l school, we still sometimes dream about moving back to the States to FIRE.

In our dream, we want a beautiful, smallish town that is affordable, walkable, fun, outdoorsy, with great public schools. We could potentially go anywhere in the US, even though our family is in Arizona and Kansas. We are not crazy about either of these states. We love Colorado, but have yet to find that perfect town. Does it exist? Not only in CO, but anywhere, USA? We have heard wonderful things about Bend, Oregon, but also hear that it is rapidly expanding.

Suggestions?
« Last Edit: April 05, 2019, 08:39:44 PM by thelyon19 »

tralfamadorian

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2019, 11:45:57 AM »
We could start throwing ideas at the wall but really, more information is needed.

Red, blue or purple states? Do you like cold winters? Hot summers? Humidity? What does affordable mean to you? $100k? $200k? $400k? And what is smallish to you? <20k? <50k? <100k? And what do you consider beautiful? High desert? Mountains? Distinct four seasons? Water?

thelyon19

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2019, 06:14:50 PM »
Touche. We love the mountains with rivers or lakes nearby, like most people. We want to be somewhere where there is hiking. Town size maybe under 100K? Outdoor activities and clean air are really important.

But that's the thing--we don't know what we don't know. Reasonably hot summers are okay, but not Phoenix hot.

Really, with this community, just looking for suggestions that we could research.

wxdevil

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2019, 08:58:05 PM »
Prescott fits pretty much all of those, and it sounds like it's close to family for you. The median age runs a little older than you might like if you have school-aged kids. Still a really nice town though.

MDfive21

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 09:39:28 AM »
a college town, specifically in a neighborhood where the college professors send their kids to school.  not too rich, not too poor.
strong public school participation rate.  if too many are in private school, the talent pool will be watered down.
good economy and diverse options for employment which will encourage like-minded people to stay put.

no matter what town or city you move to, there will be the shit school, the good school and the better school, depending on the neighborhood.  so you need to be more granular in your search. 

any feedback on the above criteria would be appreciated because i'm wondering the same as OP.. given we can move anywhere, where do we go?

thelyon19

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2019, 06:50:59 PM »
Prescott is nice, but I think if we stay in AZ, we prefer Flagstaff. Not sure about the schools there, though.

Prescott fits pretty much all of those, and it sounds like it's close to family for you. The median age runs a little older than you might like if you have school-aged kids. Still a really nice town though.

thelyon19

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #6 on: April 14, 2019, 06:51:55 PM »
We do love college towns-- interested in Missoula, although it is kinda far from AZ.

a college town, specifically in a neighborhood where the college professors send their kids to school.  not too rich, not too poor.
strong public school participation rate.  if too many are in private school, the talent pool will be watered down.
good economy and diverse options for employment which will encourage like-minded people to stay put.

no matter what town or city you move to, there will be the shit school, the good school and the better school, depending on the neighborhood.  so you need to be more granular in your search. 

any feedback on the above criteria would be appreciated because i'm wondering the same as OP.. given we can move anywhere, where do we go?

ditheca

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #7 on: April 17, 2019, 11:59:21 AM »
Consider St George.

Teachstache

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2019, 06:35:54 PM »
While my hubs and I teach abroad, and most likely will stay overseas until our kids graduate because they attend our private int'l school, we still sometimes dream about moving back to the States to FIRE.

In our dream, we want a beautiful, smallish town that is affordable, walkable, fun, outdoorsy, with great public schools. We could potentially go anywhere in the US, even though our family is in Arizona and Kansas. We are not crazy about either of these states. We love Colorado, but have yet to find that perfect town. Does it exist? Not only in CO, but anywhere, USA? We have heard wonderful things about Bend, Oregon, but also hear that it is rapidly expanding.

Suggestions?

I've been touting my hometown a lot, but I'd suggest Lincoln, Nebraska for it's fantastic public school system and quality of life. I work at a middle school that's in a "just right" socioeconomic scale & is within biking distance from my house. Our son attends the local Blue Ribbon public preschool (full time next year). I teach in the school system & our public schools are truly the crown jewel of our city. We're a university town within 8 hours drive of mountains. Relatively low cost of living, but we do have high property taxes & state income taxes. I absolutely love my hometown & I live within walking distance of my parents who still live in my childhood home. Lincoln's public schools are growing by around 700-1,000 students per year.

nessness

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2019, 07:51:01 PM »
Davis, CA meets a lot of your criteria, although I'm not sure if I'd consider it affordable - maybe a bit cheaper than Boulder but not much. But it's very bike- and pedestrian-friendly, great schools, outdoor activities within a short drive. Summers are hot but not as hot as Phoenix.

Lago

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #10 on: May 18, 2019, 09:54:50 PM »
Itís so hard to decide where to live when you have unlimited options! I recommend living close to family or friends, otherwise the move will seem random. Colorado is between Kansas and Arizona. Where will your kids live after they graduate?

We both work from home and constantly think about moving! Currently in Houston. Itís hot and floods, but the size of homes you get for the price is amazing. Every time we look outside Houston we get discouraged by the prices.

sol

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #11 on: May 18, 2019, 10:21:30 PM »
We're a university town within 8 hours drive of mountains.

Only in the midwest to people say "within 8 hours drive" and think that means it's close by.  Well, maybe the midwest and rural Australia.

Suggestions?

Just hypothetically speaking, if I knew of some perfect place that checked all of these boxes I probably wouldn't be advertising it on the internet.  Nothing ruins a good thing faster than explosive population growth.

I also think that "town size under 100k" is kind of a fuzzy metric.  Here in the Seattle area towns like Lynnwood and Federal Way have under 100k people but are still part of the Seattle-Tacoma metro corridor.  I don't think anyone that lives in Seatac (population 29,000) is really enjoying that small-town feel.

Chrissy

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #12 on: May 19, 2019, 01:49:34 PM »
KANSAS
Not suggesting it, just pointing to places to research.

Manhattan:  Tons to do all year round, Konza Prairie, Tuttle Creek, K-State U.

Lindsborg:  Coronado Heights, Midsummer's Festival, Bethany College, very small but cute as hell.

Teachstache

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Re: Best town to FIRE with kids in school
« Reply #13 on: May 19, 2019, 05:40:43 PM »
We're a university town within 8 hours drive of mountains.

Only in the midwest to people say "within 8 hours drive" and think that means it's close by.  Well, maybe the midwest and rural Australia.

Suggestions?

Just hypothetically speaking, if I knew of some perfect place that checked all of these boxes I probably wouldn't be advertising it on the internet.  Nothing ruins a good thing faster than explosive population growth.

I also think that "town size under 100k" is kind of a fuzzy metric.  Here in the Seattle area towns like Lynnwood and Federal Way have under 100k people but are still part of the Seattle-Tacoma metro corridor.  I don't think anyone that lives in Seatac (population 29,000) is really enjoying that small-town feel.
Well sure, you can leave by 5 am central time & be in the mountains by noon. I think it's close by ...